The UFC will have a tough time convincing former UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin to coach opposite Michael Bisping on next season’s “The Ultimate Fighter” reality show. Franklin, who already coached the show’s second season, feels that he is beyond that at this stage in his career.
“I liked doing the show the first time,” stated the former champ. “It was a great experience. I did it once. It was great. I’m not as excited about at this time.”
In addition, at the end of every season, it is tradition that the opposing coaches square off. Franklin was originally a light heavyweight for the UFC, however found great success and made his career at the 185-pound division.
In fact, it wasn’t until current middleweight champion Anderson Silva came over from Japan to dominate the division that caused Franklin to make the move back up to the 205-pound division. Bisping just made the opposite move.
“For me, it’ll be interesting to see when they [the UFC] actually come to me, because the UFC was actually the ones who encouraged me to move up to 205 pounds, and with Bisping now being at 185, I’m not sure what they’re going to do about that,” said Franklin.
However, it should be noted that Franklin didn’t fight the opposing coach, Matt Hughes, the first time he was a coach on the show either. Not only because they are close friends, but because they fought in different weight classes as well.
So the UFC has made exceptions in the past, and Franklin states that he may be willing to make an exception for the UFC as well.
“…I’m always willing to help the UFC out and do what they need me to do.”